Artwork from the “Leaving the Past Behind and Moving Forward Together"

Artwork from the “Leaving the Past Behind and Moving Forward Together” exhibit at the Nave Museum.

“Leaving the Past Behind and Moving Forward Together,” an art exhibit by Elaine Rose and Guiteau Lanoue, of Houston, will open to the public Friday at the Nave Museum in Victoria.

The Nave will participate in the Downtown Victoria Art Walk with live music and refreshments from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, as well.

“The title (of the exhibit) is appropriate for 2021. We all went through 2020. It’s about forgetting the past. People went through some difficult times,” Elaine Rose Lanoue said. “It’s about being positive and optimistic and unified as a people — artists and everyone. We can look at art and feel a fresh start, a positive environment. The title is meant for us as a couple and us as humanity.”

She has been making a living as a full-time artist for more than 50 years, while her husband who is originally from Haiti, started creating art when the couple married in 1984.

While she has worked in many media, including oils, watercolors, printmaking and collage, Elaine has focused primarily on acrylic painting for more than a decade.

“My art is emotion-driven and I think I’m inherently a colorist. I love color, and I don’t have to think about it while I’m preparing a painting. It’s intuitive,” she said. “I love the idea of a relationship with people and creating a fantasy landscape — a place where people seek peace and joy and just feel good. For those who connect with my work, they get it. We don’t all speak the same language, so it’s rewarding when you find someone who does relate to what you’re doing.”

Lanoue gets her inspiration from observing her surroundings. She does not paint from photographs. Her subjects include ladies wearing hats, landscapes, flowers and sailboats, among others.

“Not all artists approach their work the same way,” she said. “It’s not my purpose to recreate a photograph. You might as well buy the photo. It’s not bad to use them, but it doesn’t work for my communication skills. I want to go beyond looking at a picture. I want to connect on an emotional level.”

Her husband works in collage, and he creates what he likes.

“A lot of his creations are similar to his personality — methodical and organized,” Lanoue said of her husband’s work. “Some are architectural or structured looking, and some are dimensional and some are flat. He inherited his artistic gifts from his father who worked with industrial aluminum parts to create vessels as gifts.”

The exhibit will feature about 70 works of art — 40 by Lanoue and 30 by Guiteau Lanoue. The art will be a mixture of wrapped canvases and framed works in a variety of sizes — small and large.

“We are both faith-filled Christians and part of our ministry is creating art,” Lanoue said.

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Elena Anita Watts is the features editor for the Victoria Advocate. She covers faith, arts, culture and entertainment, and she can be reached at 361-580-6585 or ewatts@vicad.com.

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